Is Your Mother is a Covert Narcissist? — 5 Ways To Tell

  • When you are making her look good, she glows… but when you are struggling she peppers you with criticism and questions. You have broken a rule you didn’t know was there; your purpose is to make her look good.
  • If you break this rule you will pay, pay with your self-esteem. There are no practice tests, no dress rehearsals. All of life is a performance.
  • Sadly, It’s about how you make her look as a mother not about supporting you as a daughter.
  • Subtext: she exists on a steady diet of self-importance, you are there to feed her not the other way around.
  • When she gives you gifts, there are always strings attached. Gift giving has a push me, pull me feel. She feels so empty herself that she can’t give without extracting something from you.
  • She may ask for the gift back or tell you what to give her. On holidays, she doesn’t graciously receive the gift you choose for her. She can’t receive; this would mean giving up control.
  • This subtext is “You are not free to choose what to give me. That would imply we are equals. I will control the giving and taking.”
  • Despite outward appearances to the contray, your life must take a back seat to her needs. When you are unable to immediately attend to her, she becomes resentful.
  • Again, the subtext is this; it is her needs that are important.
  • When you question her or ask for clarification, she becomes immediately defensive and fires back at you. Or she gives an overblown hyperbolic response. Something along the lines of I’m SO SORRY for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING she MIGHT have done. She was, after all ONLY trying to help.
  • The subtext is this; you are to answer to her, not the other way around.
  • This move is designed to deflect blame and make you feel guilty. She is protecting the emptiness inside of herself.
  • When your boundaries about your personal life is not respected. Everything and anything is her business. The requests for information feel more like a demand. Not a respectful exchange. You get push back if you try and set healthy boundaries.
  • The subtext is this; Your business is mine for the taking.
  • You feel owned, instead of loved.




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Katherine Fabrizio

Katherine Fabrizio


Katherine Fabrizio Empowers Daughters of Narcissistic/Borderline/Difficult Mothers who are trapped in the role of “Good Daughter” in psychotherapy and online.